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Spirit Realty Capital, Inc.'s (NYSE:SRC) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

Spirit Realty Capital (NYSE:SRC) has had a rough three months with its share price down 16%. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Specifically, we decided to study Spirit Realty Capital's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

View our latest analysis for Spirit Realty Capital

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Spirit Realty Capital is:

5.4% = US$229m ÷ US$4.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.05 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. Assuming everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.

Spirit Realty Capital's Earnings Growth And 5.4% ROE

When you first look at it, Spirit Realty Capital's ROE doesn't look that attractive. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 6.5%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. Having said that, Spirit Realty Capital has shown a modest net income growth of 15% over the past five years. Given the slightly low ROE, it is likely that there could be some other aspects that are driving this growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

We then compared Spirit Realty Capital's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 11% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Spirit Realty Capital is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Spirit Realty Capital Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Spirit Realty Capital seems to be paying out most of its income as dividends judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 82%, meaning the company retains only 18% of its income. However, this is typical for REITs as they are often required by law to distribute most of their earnings. Despite this, the company's earnings grew moderately as we saw above.

Additionally, Spirit Realty Capital has paid dividends over a period of nine years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 70% of its profits over the next three years. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 4.9%.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Spirit Realty Capital certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Namely, its high earnings growth. We do however feel that the earnings growth number could have been even higher, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings and paid out less dividends. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.